Posted in JavaScript, SEO, Web Development

All you need to know about Search Engine Optimization

Your online businesses are ultimately only as profitable as they are accessible—if no one can find you online, your hard work in creating a useful architecture, providing interesting content, and coding them correctly will be for naught. This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes into play, and most of you know what it is.

Contrary to what you might hear from companies who try to sell SEO services to you, there are no magic secrets that guarantee you’ll be at the top of every list of search results. However, there is a set of free best practices that you can do on your own to make sure your site is as easy to find as possible.

What is SEO

Constructing the site architecture in such a way as to increase the possibility that search engines will return links to your site when someone searches for words related to your topic or company. How can you guarantee that your business will be up on the top of the search? well you can’t..sorry, unless you pay for it.. i.e. for google to show your website top of the searches as advertised links.

You can however follow some simple rules to improve your rankings, here they go.

Publicize your Business

Well this is the most straight forward, non-technical method.

  • Go around tell people about your business.
  • Put the link in your email signatures
  • Put the URL on your business cards
  • Get a twitter account ,  publicize using appropriate hashtags
  • Create FaceBook Pages (if applicable)
  • If you have a lot of money (which i don’t have) , Run TV / Radio / Print adds
  • On tips and information on being active in the social media space is http://www.mashable.com/. No they haven’t paid me.

There is not much  can tell you here, but to go out and do it. But if google doesn’t know about your online business , you are in serious trouble

List Your Business with the Search Engines

Even though search engines index web content automatically, this is the best way to ensure your site has a presence on their sites. Each of these sites has a form for you to fill out with the URL address, a brief description of the site, and, in some cases, a category or list of keywords with which your listing should be associated. These forms are easy to fill out

Google—Visit http://www.google.com/addurl/

Yahoo! Search—Visit http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/submit (Yahoo! Search has merged Site Explorer into Bing Webmaster tools)

Bing—Visit http://www.bing.com/docs/submit.aspx

Providing Hints for Search Engines

Each search engine uses a different method for determining which pages are likely to be most relevant and should therefore be sorted to the top of a search result list. You don’t need to get too worried  on the differences, though, because they all use some combination of the same basic criteria. The following list includes almost everything any search engine considers when trying to evaluate which pages best match one or more keywords:

  • Do keywords appear in the <title> tag of the page?
  • Do keywords appear in the first few lines of the page?
  • Do keywords appear in a <meta /> tag in the page?
  • Do keywords appear in <h1> headings in the page?
  • Do keywords appear in the names of image files and alt text for images in the page?
  • How many other pages within the website link to the page?
  • How many other pages in other websites link to the page? How many other pages link to those pages?
  • How many times have users chosen this page from a previous search list result?

Some web page authors put dozens or even hundreds of repetitions of the same word on their pages, sometimes in small print , just to get the search engines to position that page at the top of the list whenever users search for that word. This practice is called search engine spamming.

Don’t do it—all the major search engines are aware of this practice and immediately delete any page from their database that sets off a spam detector by repeating the same word or group of words in a suspicious pattern.

Clearly, the most important thing you can do to improve your position is to consider the keywords your intended audience are most likely to enter. I’d recommend that you not concern yourself with common, single-word searches like programming; the lists they generate are usually so long that trying to make it to the top is like playing the lottery. Focus instead on uncommon words and two- or three-word combinations that are most likely to indicate relevance to your topic (for instance, java web programming using struts instead of simply programming). Make sure that those terms and phrases occur several times on your page and be certain to put the most important ones in the <title>tag and the first heading or introductory paragraph.

Of all the search-engine evaluation criteria just listed, the use of <meta /> tags is probably the least understood. Some people rave about <meta /> tags as if using them could instantly move you to the top of every search list. Other people dismiss <meta /> tags as ineffective and useless. Neither of these extremes is true.

<meta /> tag is a general-purpose tag you can put in the <head> portion of any document to specify some information about the page that doesn’t belong in the <body> text. Most major search engines look at <meta /> tags to provide them with a short description of your page and some keywords to identify what your page is about. For example, your java programming guide page might include the following two tags:

<meta  name="description"
content="Order the best java programming guide." />
<meta  name="keywords"
content="java programming,java guide,best programming guide" />

Always place <meta /> tags after the <head><title>, and </title> tags but before the closing </head> tag. The first tag in this example ensures that the search engine has an accurate description of the page to present on its search results list. The second <meta /> tag slightly increases your page’s ranking on the list whenever any of your specified keywords are included in a search query.

You should always include <meta /> tags with name="description" and name="keywords" attributes in any page that you want to be indexed by a search engine. Doing so might not have a dramatic effect on your position in search lists, and not all search engines look for <meta /> tags, but it can only help

i suggest that the ideal length of a page description in a <meta /> tag is in the 100- to 200-character range. For keywords, the recommended length is in the 200- to 400-character range.

Have a look at this HTML snippet, notice that a good alt is provided for the image tag, Not all search engines read and index alt text, but some do

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1//EN"
  "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml11/DTD/xhtml11.dtd">

<html xml:lang="en">
  <head>
    <title>Java Central: A Guide to Java, Programming,
             and Complex Algorithms</title>
    <meta name="description" content="A comprehensive guide
          to java programming, computer science and complexity
          theory." />
    <meta name="keywords"  content="java,java programming,computer
          science,computer theory,Algorithms,complexity,
          complexity theory" />
    </head>

    <body>
      <div style="text-align:center">
        <img  src="javabook.gif" alt=" Java Central: A
             Guide to Java, Programming, and Science " />
      </div>
     .....
  </body>
</html>

Additional Guidelines

  • Create human-friendly URLs, such as those with words in them that users can easily remember. It is a lot easier to remember—and it’s easier for search engines to index in a relevant way—a URL such as http://www.mycompany.com/products/super_widget.html compared to something like http://www.mycompany.com?c=p&id=4&id=49f8sd7345fea.
  • Create URLs that reflect your directory structure. This assumes you have a directory structure in the first place, which you should.
  • When possible, use text—not graphical elements—for navigation
  • You have content several levels deep, use a breadcrumb trail so that users can find their way back home.

Home > Programming > Java Programming > Loops

  • Within the content of your page, use headings (<h1><h2><h3>) appropriately.
  • Keep your Java Script and CSS external, this will save the robots indexing your websites time as they won’t have to scan CSS and scripts that they will throw out anyway

Not Indexing your pages

In the unlikely event that you don’t want a page to be included in search engine databases at all, you can put the following <meta /> tag in the <head> portion of that page:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex,noindex" />

This causes some search robots to ignore the page. For more robust protection from prying robot eyes, ask your webmaster to include your page address in the server’s robots.txt file. (more about it here http://www.robotstxt.org/)

References : ISBN 978-0-672-333323

Author:

Not your average Geek!

One thought on “All you need to know about Search Engine Optimization

  1. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to
    say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll
    be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s